After months of preparation and anticipation, the first Social Tech Training — an innovative collaboration between Web of Change and MaRS — has come and gone. Read on for some thoughts about the event, and see as well Jason's post about bigger themes that emerged, if you're curious.
Overall, we were delighted with the success of the STT — especially for a first year event. By the numbers:
- 3 jam-packed days of learning and sharing about the web;
- 65 participants from across North America (we sold out!);
- 25 session leaders and facilitators, all innovators in the social tech field;
- 99% of participants who completed the conference evaluation reported that the event met, exceeded, or far exceeded their expectations; and
- 93% indicated that they would recommend the workshop to a colleague.
Most participants also reported that the workshop would significantly change the way that their organization related to and engaged with the web, and that most of the session topics were relevant to their work.
Strategy, Not Tools
In reviewing the evaluations, one thing that jumped out over and over again was that participants listed "the importance of strategy" as the biggest thing they learned at the STT. This points to a commonly held mis-perception about Web 2.0 — that it's all about flashy tools. From the start, we worked to create an agenda that went beyond tools. Instead, we engaged participants in a process of creating a comprehensive web strategy for their NGO or company, built around three pillars: outreach, engagement, and organization. We're looking forward to seeing those action plans bear fruit over the coming months!
An event of this scope just doesn't happen without a strong team, and we want to extend a huge thanks to everyone who made the Social Tech Training possible. Over 30 people worked on this event, as facilitators, organizers, speakers, or sponsors, and this event truly would not have been possible without all of them.
Finally, since many people have asked... As of right now, we don't have firm plans for the next Social Tech Training. However, if you're interested in being updated if/when it gets planned, please sign up for the Web of Change newsletter, in the left-hand column of this site. We'd love to see you there!